Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today announced the national Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force has filed enforcement actions against two voice service providers over their involvement in illegal robocalls.
“Illegal robocalls have plagued Oregonians for years, and we are really pleased to be using the full force of our states to tackle this huge problem,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “These calls are beyond annoying—they are also big business. Tragically, they can even result in loss of life savings.”
According to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center, more than 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day. These scam calls include fraudsters posing as the Social Security Administration, Amazon and employers offering work opportunities. In 2021 alone, fraudsters stole an estimated $29.8 billion through scam calls.
The task force, comprised of 51 state Attorneys General including Oregon, is hoping to shut down the voice service providers or gateways that profit off this illegal scam traffic. Since August, 2022 when the task force was announced, the Attorneys General have been investigating telecommunications companies responsible for illegal robocalls. Through evidence detailed in the enforcement actions, the task force has especially focused on two companies: Avid Telecom and One Eye.
The enforcement action against Avid Telecom details several instances in which Avid Telecom knowingly accepted and routed illegal robocalls to households all over the country. The task force also believes Avid Telecom’s CEO, Michael Lansky, helped another telecom provider hide suspect robocall traffic.
The enforcement action against One Eye details how an individual named Prince Anand closed another voice service provider, PZ Telecommunication LLC, and became the apparent CEO of One Eye after the Federal Communications Commission sent PZ Telecom a cease-and-desist letter.
One Eye has stopped responding, and the task force has asked the court for help in enforcing the civil investigative demand, also called a CID.
“Failure to respond to a task force comprised of fifty-one state attorneys general seems like a pretty big ‘red flag,’” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “It’s important that all Oregonians recognize the signs of a scam and don’t engage with fraudsters and robocallers.”
In addition to the tips in our Just Hang Up handout, Oregonians should:
- Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept iTunes gift cards.
- Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals.
- Just hang up if you suspect fraudulent activity, and do not provide ANY personal information.
- File a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice if you have fallen victim to a robocall scam, by calling 1-877-877-9392 or visiting our website at www.oregonconsumer.gov